tv [untitled] January 29, 2013 4:00am-4:30am PST
and it's a law that impacts on a statewide basis is more sensible than leaving it up to each county because then you'll end up with 58 different styles and methods of criminal justice. >> tal? >> i'm the public defender and it's my job to push the envelope. it's one thing to talk about reducing possession charges from felonies to misdemeanors but i'm not sure that's going to change the color and demographics of the population in county jail. they're out there on the street sometimes selling small amounts of drugs. until we address that problem
officer pretending to be an addict. all those people need help. >> i think that have given my all for the cause. i will leave it to george to put the capper on it. >> what is the sanction for opposing -- he is one of your members. >> he is and he is a valued member of the association. as an elected official, he is entitled to his own opinion. >> thank you. i have to say that, i want to
think marty for coming here. he knew he was coming into this. i want to repeat. i am in the minority in the association. i think concerning this item, it is important for me and all of us to recognize there are ballot points of view. if we're serious about developing solutions that work for all of us, we have to entertain those points of view and tried to reach consensus. that is the only one that we will create a workable, sustainable solutions. all we're doing is spinning our wheels. my reason for being here is because i truly have come to the
conclusion that it is not only based on years on the ground operationally but years of working on development of public policy, working with state governments and justice and lower in corp. -- incarceration and working with other people. a variety of settings. i do not believe that incarceration has taken us where we need to be. i believe the war on drugs has been a failure. when we institutionalize people over extended periods of time, we take low-level offenders in the early stages and harden them and we send them to the university of crime. by the time they get out of prison, they become a bigger social problem. where i come from, whether it is the [unintelligible]
i am on the side of saying we need to reform our system and reduce the number of people we send to jail or prison. we need to reserve that space for people that are truly dangerous and have no way of fixing themselves. we have to realize there will be some people that will go to prison because the rest of us need to have some people in prison in order for us to be safe but that is a small minority. there are many other solutions out there whether it is someone who has engaged in drugs or has a drug addiction. or engaging in some other low- level crime. every move away from a cursory those people in the early stages and deal with different forms of behavior modification, we're not only going to be a safer society but we are a more just society and we will spend more money in parks and schools and many
others. [applause] >> i will give you the final word. >> i thought a person who was most provoking was marty. but it was [inaudible] i wanted to finish with this. i wanted to bring it back to what i think are three key ethical -- the first one is this. i do not think that there is any legitimate basis in science, medicine, or any ethical code that i know of or the bible, for that matter for our criminal law tdistinguishing between those wo have alcohol and tobacco and people who put other substances in their body.
there is no legitimate basis for distinguishing between the alcoholic on the one hand under criminal law and between the drug addict on the other. that is first. the second ethical point is i hope most of you agree with this. i do not believe that anybody should be punished simply for what we put into our own bodies absent harm to others. nobody deserves to be punished for what we put in our bodies absent harm to others. hurt somebody, yes and not tell me your addiction was the excuse. we need to be regarded as sovereign over our minds and bodies. the criminal law should not be treating anyone as a criminal for what we put in here. when one is trying to pursue a particular public health or public safety objective, reducing the harm of drugs or whatever it might be. and when you have powerful
evidence that a non-course of system can accomplish that public safety health objective as well or better than a course of system, when the portugal- like object of can accomplish that for better or lower cost, it is a matter of good public policy and a matter of ethics and morality. those three key moral points are fundamental in the state in this country. thank you. >> in closing the program, i want to thank all of you for coming to the 2012 justice
summit. one thing that has distinguished our work in what we have done at these summits is action. if you look at over the past nine years, we have the evidence to prove that. out of our first summit came the call to have a community based collaboration that helped use and families work together on a community-based level. we have developed the programs for growth in our communities. out of the second summit came a call for better coordination of services and from that sprung the re-entry council. the official policy body. what we're looking to achieve this year is to make strides going forward particularly in the area of violence reduction and gangs. we have heard about the strategies today. we have seen the promise of law
enforcement being able to work together with community-based organizations dedicated to violence reduction. this is possible but only of you all get involved. so for those of you that are here and watching at home, get involved and pick up the phone. you can go to our website to keep up with developments, sfpublicdefenderorg. we are creating initiatives around gangs and violence reduction. and applying brain science to the law, and advocating for reform. this is a banner year for criminal-justice. we have the three strikes initiative. we limit it to only serious offenses. also, the ballot measure, the state measure which will eliminate the penalty.
thank you, all of you for coming and for all the volunteers that made this possible. i want to thank the san francisco public library, every year they have provided us with a venue to do this event and also for sfgovtv for putting us on the tube. we will see you again. keep in touch. thank you. [applause]